Progress chair Alison McGovern MP examines the 10 most egregious failures in Philip Hammond’s first budget
- Failure to even mention Brexit, the single biggest issue our country faces in the next 10 years. The Office for Budget Responsibility states that they have asked for more detail on Brexit in order to make their forecasts, and still the government have not provided enough information. There is no provision for any one-off or exit-related payments in their calculations, assuming we can leave the European Union without having to pay anything in a ‘divorce settlement’.
- Broken 2015 manifesto commitment to no increases in VAT, national insurance contributions or income tax by raising NIC for the self-employed, of whom nearly half are in low pay, with more than 1.7 million earning less than living wage and without the same social security protections as employees.
- Wages down – average annual wages now forecast to be over £1000 lower in the first quarter of 2021 than forecast at the last budget.
- £2bn for social care does not come close to solving the crisis addressing the £13bn gap which will exist by 2030
- No mention of the north of England or other regions within our Kingdom, and no mention at all of the so-called northern powerhouse.
- Household debt has been revised up by £189bn by 2021.
- OBR have revised down their projections on productivity per worker since November, this will have a knock-on effect on wage growth, which is already a problem.
- OBR forecast shows exports forecast down since March 2016, based on the assumption that Brexit will result in a lower UK share of EU markets, with no attempt from the government to address this.
- Paying travel costs for children who go to selective free schools, and putting £340m into funding new grammar schools and just £210m into all 10,000 other schools.
- Growth forecasts have been revised down in four of the next five years.
Alison McGovern is member of parliament for Wirral South and chair of Progress. She tweets at @Alison_McGovern
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